Dear Patient Relations and Hospital Administrators,
I am writing today because of the extreme frustration from my experiences with Ochsner Baton Rouge. In March of this year, I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child…due this November. My first child was born at Woman’s Hospital, and the entire process was wonderful. However, due to the change of my insurance to Tricare, I have had to change providers, which leaves me no choice to deliver anywhere but Ochsner. I will say from the start I have not been happy with this, but have tried to keep an open mind. I have been to all scheduled appointments, taken a tour of the birthing center, etc. But time after time, I am disappointed by oversights, slights and overall incompetence. I am starting to question if Ochsner should even be in this business.
In 2008, when my insurance changed, I was assigned Dr. Michael Durel. My first issue with this man arose from a laparoscopic surgery he performed on me in 2010, in which he refused to provide adequate pain medication post-care. I was sent home and told I would not be given anything other than Tylenol and suffered for an entire week because of this. It should be noted that I had the same procedure performed at Woman’s several years earlier and not only was I prescribed prescription pain medicine, I only had one incision, whereas Dr. Durel made multiple, shoddy incisions all over my stomach that have left scars to this day.
I should have changed doctors at that point, but I stuck with him. I made an appointment with him when I discovered I was pregnant. I have not seen the man since, because of the way Ochsner implements the midwife system. I am in my 7th month and have only seen a physician ONCE. I honestly cannot stand the fact that I have no idea who will be delivering my child, and it may be a doctor or midwife I have never even met. Please tell me how this meets Ochsner’s goal of continuity of care and trust of your provider?
Last month, (August 2012) I was scheduled to see a physician, a Dr. Hodges. I showed up and was escorted to a patient room. The wait was unusually long, and I actually FELL ASLEEP on the bed. Two hours later a nurse came in and was mortified that I had just been left in there—yes, Dr. Hodges had gotten called out on a C-section, and they completely forgot about me. This is unacceptable. They managed to get a midwife in there to see me, but I was originally told that it was an appointment in which I was supposed to have seen a physician.
The last straw for me occurred yesterday. I had called and was placed ON THE SCHEDULE for Dr. Durel. I showed up for the 1:15 appointment. I had scheduled the appointment because I was having back pain and my blood tests from my 28 week visit had indicated I was also anemic. The following day I was supposed to have jury duty, and I wanted to get a note from Durel excusing me because of my back pain and exhaustion. When I arrived, I was told by the check in person, Brandy Babin (rudely I may add) that I would NOT be allowed to see Dr. Durel because he reviewed my chart and would not give me an excuse from jury duty because I was not a high risk pregnancy. I told her I all the same, I wanted to speak directly to him. Next, his nurse, Christie Coates came out and (again, rudely) told me the same thing. Both women REFUSED to allow me to attend an appointment that was ON THE SCHEDULE. They went to the back, then came back and told me then that my appointment was invalid, and if I insisted on seeing Dr. Durel that day, I would have to go to my PCP in Denham Springs, and get a referral to come and see Dr. Durel. I cannot explain how incredulous and angry beyond belief I was at this point. IN WHAT WORLD, does a 7 month pregnant woman need to get a referral from a PCP to see her OB/GYN….especially when the appointment was ON THE SCHEDULE?!!! This is the worst example shoddy and backhanded customer service from ANY medical provider I have ever experienced.
Lastly, I want to reiterate how unprofessional I believe it to be of Dr. Durel that a physician who hasn’t seen me but ONCE, and at the beginning of my pregnancy would deem me fit for any activity before at least spending 5 minutes with me to address my concerns. It is my opinion, regardless of what my record states (and I am not convinced anything in there is accurate based on the constant shuffling that goes on there) nobody has the right to make that call but the pregnant person HERSELF. If I say I am in pain and don’t feel as though I can perform certain functions, then a compassionate provider would be more than accommodating, rather than insisting (or implying) that I simply suck it up.
I sincerely hope this complaint is followed up on because I am extremely nervous about the remainder of my pregnancy and impending delivery with Ochsner. In the meantime, at the very least, I will be switching doctors within that group, as I never want to see Dr. Michael Durel again. I also plan to share both this experience and how it was handled as a testimonial on my blog and social media profiles.